Curicó, July 1997.
Everyone acts as if nothing in the house has changed. But you’re not here anymore. You don’t go to school. I can’t hear your screams or your jokes that I hate. From one day to another you disappeared. Why didn’t you say goodbye to us?
On Saturday, I woke up to the sound of the car and went to look out the window to see what was going on. Between mist and smoke from the chimney, I saw you with your wet hair next to a large suitcase. Mom and dad hugged you. As you separated, I noticed the three of you crying. I slammed the curtains shut. An intuition told me that that suitcase was not for a weekend championship and that you were going far away. Who knows where.
I went back to bed, so no one would realize I was spying on them through the window. I heard mom entering the house. Her sobs filled the hallway. Our little sister woke up not understanding what was happening. I told her nothing, wanting to believe that nothing was happening, I got into her bed and we fell asleep holding each other once more. That weekend was very quiet. A couple of elusive glances between our parents. I didn’t dare to ask about you, thinking that maybe you’d come back on Sunday. But that Sunday you didn’t come back, nor the next one or the one that came after that. Today marks eight Sundays since you left. I’m beginning to think you didn’t go on a trip, rather you left the house forever.
Surely you and your desire to be a champion forced you to leave this town, pursuing your desire for victory. Children should not live far from their parents. Their siblings need them, even if only to fight. I still don’t understand why you didn’t tell me.
At night I lock myself in your room and search through your things to see if I can find you. Your bag full of balls is getting dusty. I saw two spiders above the bed. I guess since you don’t use it anymore someone has to. This time I didn’t kill them. I stole your last two UFO magazines, expecting you to chase me around the house in a rage until you forced me to return. It didn’t help either. My attempts to get your attention have failed one after another. Our parents still don’t say your name. I act as if I hadn’t noticed. Our little sister secretly asked me. I told her that you took a plane and went to compete around the world, but I know that children cannot travel alone. So tell me, where are you? Every time I look at your picture next to the TV, I hope no one sees me, and I caress your face; but, my throat starts to hurt so badly that I think I’m going to get tonsillitis, and they’re going to have to take me to Ms. Sol’s only for me to get a shot. That really would be sad because you wouldn’t be able to laugh at me when Mother lies to me telling me to accompany her downtown just to make a clandestine detour to the house of the old woman who pokes your rear with a needle. I hate you. I hate you so much.
Our elder sister doesn’t seem to care that you’re not here. She’s been partying for the last eight Saturdays. Probably on Sundays she’s happy that she can sleep late and not wake up to your screaming telling everyone you’re going for a run. On the other hand, I have missed that crazy video every Friday, because I fall asleep and when you were here, you bothered me so much that I could watch the entire show, and we laughed together. Do you remember that time I bit your face? If you were here now, I would bite you three times harder to leave you with a huge scar, and so every time you see it in the mirror you remember that you left without saying goodbye and left me here. I don’t even know if you’re alive. You haven’t sent any signals.
If you don’t come back from now to two more Sundays: I’M GOING TO BURN ALL YOUR UFO MAGAZINES! In short, I memorized the stories that I liked the most and copied the ones I didn’t understand the words to in my diary.
I am going to send this letter to the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Santiago because, if you’re still alive, it must be the only place you could be.
From now on the countdown to the alien campfire begins. I love you so much that I hate you.
The one who comes after you.